On view from March 22 to June 23, 2013
OTTAWA, March 20, 2013 /CNW/ - From Friday, March 22 to Sunday, June 23,
2013, visitors to the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) will be able to
admire outstanding works by the seven recipients of the prestigious
2013 Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts, awarded by the
Canada Council for the Arts, in an exhibition that pays tribute to the
laureates. The exhibition is organized by the NGC in collaboration with
the Canada Council for the Arts and His Excellency The Right Honourable
David Johnston, Governor General of Canada.
Significant pieces by painter and sculptor Marcel Barbeau; performance artist Rebecca Belmore; filmmaker and director William MacGillivray; sound artist and composer Gordon Monahan; artist-potter Greg Payce, recipient of the Saidye Bronfman Award; and sculptor Colette Whiten are showcased in the exhibition, as is the outstanding contribution of
curator and art critic Chantal Pontbriand. The exhibition includes both loans from the laureates and works from
the collection of the National Gallery of Canada.
"Once again this year, we are proud to present an exhibition that unites
the outstanding works of these great Canadian artists, whose powerful
artistic contributions have been shaping our visual arts landscapes for
decades," said NGC director and CEO Marc Mayer.
The Awards, funded and administered for the 14th year by the Canada Council for the Arts, were announced March 12 during
a press conference held in Montreal. They recognize distinguished
career achievements in the visual and media arts by Canadian artists,
as well as outstanding contributions through voluntarism, philanthropy,
board governance, community outreach or professional activities.
Marcel Barbeau was an original signatory member of Les Automatistes, the group that
sought to gain freedom from academic painting and liberation from the
rigid social and political climate in 1940s Quebec. Nadja embodies this
movement's exploration with automatic gesture. Exploring geometric
abstraction, Barbeau's biomorphic work Tomac references both the work
of his mentor Paul-Émile Borduas and Henri Bergson's theory of memory.
Barbeau then investigated Op Art in two styles: minimalism (Red Undulations 2) and kinetic illusionism (Retina - don't bug me). Despite several manifestations over the decades, Barbeau has always
been concerned with movement, form and colour in space. Diamonds, Bridges of Stars is an expressive climax in his oeuvre.
Rebecca Belmore, Canada's representative at the 2005 Venice Biennale, has received
international acclaim for her provocative works in performance,
installation, photography and video that address the politics of
Indigenous representation, voice and identity. Central to her practice
is the way the body can be used to invoke presence and absence, give
visibility to the disenfranchised and commemorate acts of ritual,
violence or resistance. The Named and the Unnamed stems from her 2002 performance in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside that
drew attention to the disappearance of dozens of women from that area.
The installation functions as a form of protest and memorial, forcing
the viewer into a conscious act of witnessing.
Colette Whiten's works collectively explore the power relationships inherent in
gender, mass media representation and politics. She has created
life-size plaster casts of men and women; embroidered and beaded
tapestries that translate news images into delicate matrices of glass
and thread; and monumental public sculptures, each with a consistent
sensitivity towards scale, space and temporality. In Haitians Watch, a fleeting print photo is given permanence and weight through her
laborious handwork, while in Watermark she sculpts an intimate wall relief from a family snapshot, raising
"home life" from the realm of the mundane to that of art.
Gordon Monahan creates kinetic sculptures, computer-controlled sound environments,
avant-garde compositions and video installations that explore the
inherent aural properties of his materials. He is also the director of
the annual Electric Eclectics Festival held in Meaford, Ontario. Often
juxtaposing natural and technological acoustic phenomena, his works
range from lo-tech experiments to highly sophisticated productions, and
seek to imbue architecture with a sonic dynamism while harnessing the
bodily energy of the performers who may activate them. In Resonant Platinum Records, Monahan use analogue synthesis techniques to activate the resonant
frequencies of this quartet of disc sculptures, stringing them to
vibrate with the oscillation of their motorized suspension system.
A forerunner in the development of independent filmmaking in Eastern
Canada, William MacGillivray was a founding member of the Atlantic Filmmakers Co-operative and runs
his production company Picture Plant (incorporated in 1981) from
Lunenburg, Nova Scotia. A director, editor, writer and producer of more
than twenty feature-length films, documentaries, shorts and television
series, MacGillivray articulates stories of locality, community and identity
from an Atlantic point of view, situating his subjects within a broader
global context while subtly interrogating the medium of film itself. Linda Joy is an assemblage of friend and fellow filmmaker Linda Joy Busby's
footage, compiled and edited posthumously by MacGillivray to poignantly
chronicle Busby's struggle with cancer in her final days.
Further screenings of William MacGillivray's work will take place on
Thursday evenings throughout April, at 6 pm in the NGC Auditorium:
I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art 1987 - (1:28 min.)
Life Classes 1988 - (1:56 min.)
Silent Messengers 2005 - (1:33 min.)
The Man of a Thousand Songs 2010 - (1:30 min.)
Greg Payce has taken the field of ceramics beyond the realms of sculpture and
function into the territory of abstraction, of optics and even cinema.
His work ranges from intimate terracotta vessels that meld classical
forms with contemporary decorative references, to life-size vases that
manipulate positive and negative space and challenge the relationship
between humans and our domestic objects. Pantheon represents the culmination of many of his interests and is the first
work he re-mediated to produce lenticular images and video
installations. Here, silhouettes spun into three-dimensional forms and
grouped strategically to confuse the boundary between "figure" and
"ground," bring a sense of dynamism, illusion and gender-bending whimsy
to the traditional Greco-Roman frieze.
A self-defined "live curator," Chantal Pontbriand has made an unparalleled contribution to the visual arts in Canada.
Working variously as curator, art historian, editor and critic, she was
the founder of PARACHUTE contemporary art magazine - Canada's leading
international journal of art criticism and theory - and Festival international de nouvelle danse (FIND). Recently she held the title of head of exhibition research and
development at Tate Modern. While juggling her many positions from the
1970s through to the present, she maintains an active curatorial career
with PONTBRIAND W.O.R.K.S [We_Others and
Myself_Research_Knowledge_Systems]. Her writings concentrate on
cultural hybridity and globalization related to art and
contemporaneity, and touch upon issues of artistic, social and
The NGC is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Thursdays
until 8 p.m. Closed Mondays, except February 18, March 5 and March 11.
Tickets on sale now. Adults: $9. Seniors and full-time students: $7
Youth (12-19): $4. Families (two adults and three youth): $18.
Admission is free for children under the age of 12 and for Members. To
purchase tickets, call 613-998-8888 or 1-888-541-8888, or visit www.shopngc.ca.
About the National Gallery of Canada
The National Gallery of Canada is home to the most important collections
of historical and contemporary Canadian art. The Gallery also maintains
Canada's premier collection of European Art from the 14th to the 21st
century, as well as important works of American, Asian and Indigenous
Art and renowned international collections of prints, drawings and
photographs. Created in 1880, the National Gallery of Canada has played
a key role in Canadian culture for well over a century. Among its
principal missions is to increase access to excellent works of art for
all Canadians. To do so, it maintains an extensive touring art
exhibition programme. For more information: www.gallery.ca
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For further information:
For media only:
For more information about the exhibition, please contact:
Senior Media and Public Relations Officer
National Gallery of Canada
Canada Council for the Arts Media Kits
An electronic press kit complete with video interviews, nomination statements and event listings as well as images of the artists and their works is available on the Canada Council for the Arts' website at: http://ggavma.canadacouncil.ca/
Canada Council for the Arts
Heather McAfee: 1-800-263-5588 or 613-566-4414, ext. 4166
Mireille Allaire: 1-800-263-5588 or 613-566-4414, ext. 4523
To arrange interviews with the winners:
The Hillbrooke Group
Lisa Robertson: 613-739-7032 /email@example.com
Susan Wright: 613-314-2021 / firstname.lastname@example.org